Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Snow Gear

Saturday evening's snow was made all the more tolerable by the fact that it was gone Sunday afternoon.

And also by fashionable footwear. Who can resist a 13-month old in pink pom-pom boots?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Some New Reading

Finally, finally, FINALLY, my real-life friend Kendra has her own blog. Now I can quit saying, "My real-life friend Kendra taught me that..." every time I have a cool tip. I can just direct you to her blog.

My bread? Her recipe. Her yogurt? My recipe. You want to know anything about tapping maples, raising chickens, organic gardening, homeopathic treatments, being church accompanist, homeschooling, living life with a deployed spouse, renovating, or Canada? Ask her. (And notice, I stick this post under "Resources." Because she absolutely is!)

And to get her back for not telling me the address to her blog and just informing me that she was starting one (which led to about 8 minutes of googling that I could have spent watching funny youtubes practicing my Colossians memorization), I have linked to her twelve times. So go already!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Braley Pond Again

Last week was hard. Not any kind of heart-rendering, soul-searching hard, but the kind of hard where you would give your children away for a good night's sleep. Or even if someone asked (but no one did).

Everyone managed to get sick, along with the rest of the East Coast. Even the laptop crashed. The only truly worrisome one was the laptop. Well, also Gideon (13 mos.), who sounds like he's on the last stages of pneumonia with a good measure of whooping every time he gets a cold. We call him Croupert. Because when you've had little sleep, that's a pretty funny joke.

But now everyone is talking in a permanently whiny voice and finding ways to irritate each other, which means we're on the mend. And yes, the laptop is also up and running.

I'm sure the week would have been much harder had we not visited Braley Pond last Saturday. That few hours of Sunshine and Outdoors readied me for the coming days of dosing and drowsing (them, not me).

Whatcha got there, Ben?

Oh, yes. Kayleen would be proud. And also, ewww.

And while they were catching crawdads (seven in all), Gideon worked on his fishing skills.

He caught a Salem (one in all).

I could just look at this view all day. Everything is so ... kissable.

Jonathan was the first to get sick, but we figured a dose of Vitamin D via sunshine and the babbling brook was probably just what he needed.

Probably the most fun moment for me was when Eden (4) came crying up to us with her net: "Everyone but ME is catching something! I will never catch anything! I can't do it!"

We were busy consoling her with "just keep trying," when she loudly interrupted,

"HEY! I CAUGHT SOMETHING!" And sure enough, squirming at the bottom of her net while she held it and fussed to us a good 20 yards away from the creek, was a little crawdad. The smallest find of the day.

And then this past Saturday, we celebrated semi-recovery with a trip to Augusta Co-op, Tractor Supply and Lowe's. I could just spend hours in Tractor Supply. We cuddled baby bunnies and chicks and drooled over chicken coops and wood stoves and books on gardening.

Lowe's provided the bulbs and flowers, and Ethan provided the window boxes emblazoned with color outside my kitchen windows.

And that was just the pick-up I needed!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Grow Old Along with Me

Lately, there have been more and more reminders that I am, in fact, getting older.

One of the more recent ones came last week when I was childless at the drugstore. I picked up a package of zinc lozenges, a clearanced baby saline mist, and some off-brand chocolate.

It just hit me that even my shopping list sounds ... mature. I should have gone ahead and thrown in some corn removers.

But the reminder of my age came in the checkout line, where I waited behind a man who was apparently a friend of the female cashier. "Yeah, we just got back from our vacation. How did you know we even left?"

"Well," said the cashier. "I saw your mom last week. She said you guys were on your way. How was it?"

The man shifted his weight, leaning back on his heels and rocking up to his toes. "It was all right, I guess. But you know what the coolest part was?"

"What's that?" she asked.

"Check out these shoes I got!" Then he picked one leg up and rested it on the counter, so she could see his sneakers with the neon green soles. "Aren't these sweet?"

"I bet you paid a pretty penny for those babies," she said.

"Oh, yeah. These were $150. Best souvenir I got from the trip!"

I was dumbfounded. I mean, first of all, I'm a customer with zinc lozenges, nose spray, and off-brand chocolate, for crying out loud. Isn't it obvious I'm desperate? And here you are yamming it up about your vacation with your dirty shoe on the counter?

And also ... really? I was completely derailed by his shoe-and-tell. People my age don't show off their shoes. What do people my age show? Well, as little as possible, really.

And that's what got me. Here I had been, subconsciously equating myself with the guy ahead of me. "Hmm, a vacation, that sounds wonderful," I was thinking.

And then, like a fist in the face, the fact that he and I were NOT the same age struck me with the slap of his shoe on the counter. I snapped out of my vacationland dream to start doing some math. How old was this guy ahead of me, truly? Judging by his vocabulary, footwear, and lack of consideration for the elder behind him, I'd guess a good fifteen years. I am fifteen years older than a man???

And what on earth was he buying at a drugstore, anyway? Gum?

I'm also guessing his vacation had little to do with potty stops, wet carseats, or the fifth time through Hank the Cowdog on audio.


And I shouldn't have to add (but I will because some of you are no doubt too young to understand), the chocolate was little comfort. If my age can proffer any wisdom, take this: never scrimp on chocolate. And young man? $150 would have bought a lot of chocolate (and also some denture cleaner).
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